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Emilia Terracciano

Emilia Terracciano is the TORCH/Ruskin AW Mellon Global South Fellow, Bowra Junior Research Fellow in the Humanities at Wadham College, and was previously a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Ruskin 2015-2018.

Dr Emilia Terracciano’s research project investigates the relationship between art, nature and technology in the global south. Provisionally titled Agro-futurism: art, nature, technology, this inter-disciplinary project traces the militant history, use and exchange of bio-technologies and more-than-human resources across the visual arts in the twentieth century and beyond. Agriculture, arguably the first form of technology, opened up a field in which the asymmetry of colonial relations could be tested, and contested, creating not only its own empire of ‘frictions’ but also offering competitive visions for the hearts and minds of the ‘darker nations of the world’. Animating the urgent and international negotiation of other realities and futures, the culture of plants and animals, occasioned vital and intimate alliances between human and non-human worlds. Memorably linked to very real struggles, these often 'aggro' visions hold the promise of sustenance to a global Third World. This rich but forgotten archive, complicates the meaning, context and ethics surrounding contemporary discussions on the resurgence of food justice, race, monocultures, and sovereignty of movements. 

Alongside this current project, Emilia is writing an essay about the work of artist Naiza Khan on the politics of scale, marine worlds, and more-than-human-resources linked to the expansion of the port of Karachi, Pakistan, for the Pakistan Pavilion at the 58th edition of the Venice Biennale 'May You Live in Interesting Times'. 

Her essay on the environmental fibre sculptures of Mrinalini Mukherjee will be published by Met Breuer, New York, in conjunction with the first retrospective devoted to the artist, later this June.

Emilia's essay about the plant experiments of Bengali botanist, physicist, and sic-fi writer Jagadish Chandra Bose was published by the Journal Marg 'The Weight of a Petal: Ars Botanica', curated by Sita Reddy in January 2019. 

Her monograph Art and Emergency: Modernism in twentieth-century India was published by I.B.Tauris.

At the Ruskin, Emila co-teaches the course: 'Photography, Globalisation and the Documentary Turn'.

See also Bowra Junior Research Fellow in the Humanities